Sunday, January 23, 2011

Grandma Dates

Thursday mornings have become activity time with Grandma. Whatever grandchildren happen to be available get to embark on a grand adventure with me. So far, because Nathan and Matthew have had to go to school, the adventures have been exclusively with Maggie and Becca. I must admit that the activities have been much more adventurous than expected!

The first week, the plan was to take in story time at the library. By the time, we got kids bundled in coats, mittens and boots and buckled safely into car seats, we were running late. A couple of wrong turns set us even further behind. We finally arrived at the library, sure that we had missed out on story time, only to discover that it was the wrong library! Not the end of the world. There was plenty to keep us busy for the next hour especially since both girls ran in opposite directions! We never did find that butterfly book that Becca was looking for but we found plenty of other interesting books. I think Becca could have spent the whole day looking at "I Spy" books. The newts in the water tank were intriguing. Maggie found a pile of Pokeman and Bakugan books to check out. Her brothers were surely impressed! A reminder that it was lunch time and, yes, we could have lunch at Grandma's (even though I was sure we'd be late getting Maggie to kindergarten if we did) got the girls out the door. Lunch was great fun but just as I feared, we were late getting Maggie to school. Becca stayed behind with Grandpa which was a good thing because when we got to school, Maggie decided she needed an escort to class. I parked the car (not realizing that it was the furthest from her classroom that we could get) and took her to class where she suddenly realized she had forgotten her backpack. Clinging to me, Maggie refused to go to class without it. Her kind substitute teacher, a neighbor, let her go home with me to get it. Maggie did finally get to school about a half hour late! By the time Elly came by to pick up Becca, I was exhausted!

The next week, I planned to take the girls to a puppet show at my library. This time I was running late. Thankfully, we arrived just barely on time and enjoyed a wonderful program. It was exciting to actually see a couple of familiar faces of women from my ward and have the chance to interact with them. Other than the fact that Maggie wanted to sit on my lap making it difficult for me to get up to remind Becca (who was "sitting" in front) to sit down, the show went off without a hitch. We enjoyed a visit from a monster and a cat that turned out to be a "stinky poo" skunk, a story about the boy who cried "wolf" and a song about monkeys in a tree being eaten by a crocodile. After the program came to an end, the girls took off in opposite directions, again, to see what they could find in the library. We didn't find the butterfly book, or a Little Einstein book, or even a Pokeman or Bakugan book. Maggie did find a pile of movies and a CD to check out. Becca found another stack of "I Spy" books. Shortly after sitting down to read our stack of books, Maggie noticed that the room where we had had the puppet show was empty. The large empty space with the colorful carpet was so enticing. The perfect place to run around! Off she went with Becca close behind. My caution to be quiet fell on deaf ears as they chased each other around the room. Soon Becca started dancing as she sang to herself. Her movements were amazingly graceful as she flitted about the room in her new twinkly-toed boots. I couldn't bring myself to stop her. I was thoroughly enjoying the show. A few other children had noticed the fun and were engaged in the chase to catch Maggie. I could tell that things were getting a little out of hand especially when the librarian came to close the door. Time for lunch at Grandmas! We made a quick get-away, checking out our library materials as we headed for the door.

Making face lunches and smoothies was lots of fun. Some of the food even got eaten! We left my house early so we could get Maggie to school in time to watch the movie in the classroom while waiting for classmates to arrive. Again, Maggie wanted an escort to her classroom. We left Becca protesting in her car seat planning to quickly deliver Maggie to her classroom and get back to the car before Becca could get too upset. NO ONE WAS IN THE CLASSROOM! I stopped someone in the hall who had no idea where the class had disappeared to. She told me to check at the office. The office informed me that on nice days the kids could be found in the kindergarten play area outside. First of all, I was surprised that it was considered a nice day. In spite of the fact that the sun was shining, it was about 35 degrees with several inches of snow on the ground. Secondly, I should have asked where the play area was located rather than relying on Maggie to show the way. As we were leaving the office, we encountered Maggie's brother, Matthew, who had a headache and was calling mom to come pick him up. I offered to give him a ride home after delivering Maggie. Maggie and I ran off to find the playground which we finally did find after picking up a very sad Becca along the way. Maggie happily joined her classmates in play while I returned to the office to wait for Matthew. So much for a quick delivery!

The life of a Grandma! But I am learning. I now know the layout and workings of the elementary school (at least as far as kindergarten is concerned). I have been reminded that with each child in tow it takes at least ten times longer to do things; that 15 minutes in the library is plenty of time to get things done before the wiggles set in; and that spending every date in the library is probably not a good idea. I've also learned that hanging out with the grand kids, no matter how trying, is filled with joyful moments!